Flexible Process Planning Design and Resource Optimization

  • V Thamaraiselvan Scholar, Lean Operations and Systems School of Business and Management, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore
  • N Ramakrishnan Associate Professor, Lean Operations and Systems School of Business and Management Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore
Keywords: Sustainability, Biodegradable Straws, Coconut Leaves, Flexible Process Planning Model, Optimization and Efficiency


Manufacturing processes undergo various transformations based on technological advancements and industry expectations. At initial times, during the period of first Industrial revolution, products were getting manufactured using human capabilities and skills. Then, electrically-driven motors, machines and conveyors were used. Now in the fourth Industrial revolution, Industries are equipped with automation, robots and cyber-physical systems. But adopting such technologies requires a high capital investment which cannot be accommodated by some start-ups. In this research paper, a case of a start-up which manufactures straws and vessel scrubbers in an eco-friendly manner as an initiative towards sustainability has been discussed. The key product of the company is biodegradable straws which are manufactured from coconut leaves through a set of processes. The scope of the research is to develop a labour-intensive process planning model. Managing contemporary issues is a big task for the company because of the dynamic nature of the environment. In this case, the demand for straws changes based on customer preference and accordingly, the manufacturing processes need to be revised. Hence, developing a rigid planning model is not an effective solution, so that, flexible manufacturing process needs to be developed. There is always a scope of improvement towards betterment and optimization in a manufacturing process. It is not necessary that the improvements should lead to drastic results. Japanese manufactures who bring the Toyota Production System (TPS) believe that small improvements in a continual basis will fetch better results in terms of quality, efficiency and lead time reduction. Once the model is developed, areas of improvement to optimize the resources are found out and iterations of process planning model were carried over to improve the efficiency. Through the study, it is found that the development of a flexible process plan is required to compete with the changing business scenarios.

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